GROWING STRAWBERRIES OVERVIEW: INTRODUCTION
There is a tremendous amount of detailed information on our Growing Strawberries page. For anyone just starting out, it is recommended that the starting point be that page. However, it can also be useful to step back and look at the big picture when it comes to growing strawberries.
Since strawberry plants are perennial in nature, they will produce good harvests for multiple years if taken care of properly. This guide is intended to give you a general idea of what it takes to properly care for growing strawberries and dormant strawberries all year long.
This monthly growing strawberries guide and overview will be accurate for most of the United States. The deep south and far north will have somewhat different seasonal benchmarks due to climate. However, the same general steps will be taken, albeit at a modified time.
GROWING STRAWBERRIES GUIDE: WINTER
January: Select and order the varieties of strawberry plants you desire to plant. Be sure to order certified, disease-free plants. Feel free to use our directory of Strawberry Plants for Sale Online to find what you need.
February: Fertilize the soil and add lime 2 weeks prior to planting new plants (as soil testing dictates). Plant your strawberry plants if you live in a milder climate. Fertilize established strawberry beds. Apply straw or other mulch to your new strawberry beds when you plant them, either in February or March.
March: Plant your disease-free plants. For maximal production in subsequent years, remove blossoms in year 1. Pay attention to the weather forecast and protect blooms from frost, if needed.
GROWING STRAWBERRIES GUIDE: SPRING
April: Remove the previously applied mulch covering from established beds. Cultivate and water. Protect blossoms from any late frosts. Control any strawberry pests. Continue to remove any blossoms on new plants.
May: Cover plants with bird netting to minimize loss. Water strawberry plants if conditions are dry. Continue to remove any blossoms on new plants. Begin harvesting strawberries every other day as they ripen on old plants. Control weeds. Train the strawberry runners wherever you want them to go.
June: Control any strawberry pests. Water strawberry plants if conditions are dry. Harvest ripe strawberries. Continue training the runners. Weed control. Begin renovating old strawberry beds after harvest and fruiting is finished.
GROWING STRAWBERRIES GUIDE: SUMMER
August: Control any strawberry pests while specifically checking for mites. Fertilize in the middle of the month. Water strawberry plants if conditions are dry.
September: Control any strawberry pests. Water the strawberry plants. Fertilize in the middle of the month. Thin the plants to about four per square foot. Have the soil tested to guide future fertilization and to check for pests (specifically nematodes).
GROWING STRAWBERRIES GUIDE: FALL
November: Either purchase mulch to have on-hand, or locate a supply of mulch than can be obtained once the ground freezes.
December: Liberally apply mulch to strawberry bed once the ground has frozen.
GROWING STRAWBERRIES OVERVIEW CONCLUSION
Growing strawberries can be very rewarding. However, it can be easy to forget what needs to be done when. This is especially true after the harvest is over and the thrill of watching fruits and vegetables fades into dormant or dead garden plants and trees. So, use this guide to keep you on track and think about picking strawberries from healthy plants during the next harvest!